QAANAAQ (for The Grinder)

Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.
First of all, thank you for this interview! The band was born in 2011 when the three Togni brothers, Luca on keyboards, Mattia on bass and Nicola on drums, felt the need to unite their passion for metal and progressive music, and their own single influences, to create something that was both personal and engaging. After playing briefly with a young guitarist, they joined forced with a friend called Dario Leidi that was interested in the project. The band was then completed with the growl voice of Enrico Perico. The contrast between the harsh voice and the melodic keyboards was the key element around which we created our own style and all the compositions that merged into our first full length album that came out in 2016. Dario left the band in November 2017 due to personal reasons, and we’ve luckily found a worthy replacement in our cousin Michelangelo Togni, that joined us in May 2018.

What’s the origin of the band’s name?
The name was suggested by Nicola and quickly liked by all members because, by being a palindrome, is graphically pleasing. It’s the name of a city in Groenland, we like the fact that it represent a barren, icy land that’s both unforgiving and toughening.

Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there?
We come from Italy, from the suburbs of Bergamo, a city north of Milan. The underground scene is very rich and diverse, there are several interesting metal bands, but sadly there aren’t that many places where to play metal music around where we live. Obviously you can find more places to play in Milan, that’s why it’s like a second home to us and other metal bands from Bergamo, but that’s a pity because it doesn’t help creating a proper scene in smaller cities like ours. The fewer the places to play, the less the listeners can keep in touch with the underground scene. But something started definitely moving in the right direction in the last few years!

Are there any local bands you could recommend?
There are several metal bands worth mentioning, like Xpus, Rise of Tyrants, Integral, Norsemen, Aleph, Ulvedharr and for sure we’re forgetting about some other great bands.

How would you describe your style?
It is always hard for us to describe our own style. You can say we’re avantgarde, doom, progressive…Some listeners said that there’s some death in our sound, or some black and god knows what else! It obviously depends on what your musical background is and on what element of our sound strikes you the most. We just play what feels natural to us and what satisfy us the most.

What have you released so far and what can someone expect from your works?
We have one full length that came out in 2016. When we listen to it, it is clear how much we have changed since then, but it is still a good example of what Qaanaaq is: no rules or clear path to follow, no simple song structure, only the will to explore our own influences by merging them together in a coherent and flowing way. So it still represents us, but it doesn’t capture all the groove and energy that we can express while playing live.

Do you have any new music in the works?
We have a couple of songs that are ready, but since we changed our guitarist we have to go back and revisit them because we like to incorporate the influences of all the band members to create something that satisfy all of us.

How about playing shows and touring, have anything planned out?
Unfortunately, between full time jobs and families we don’t have the possibility to stay away for too long. We all have children so we can’t put the music in front of everything. We’re constantly playing live locally, but for now we couldn’t play too far away from where we live. We hope to play outside of Italy next year, maybe with a couple of “mini tours”.

What plans do you have for the future has a band?
To create and play new music for sure, and to publish our second full length, maybe before the end of the next year.

Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?
You can listen to our album on Bandcamp, on our label’s page:
(https://metalscraprecords.bandcamp.com/album/qaanaaq-escape-from-the-black-iced-forest)
And if you want to purchase our album, here’s our label’s website:
(https://metalscraprecords.com/shop/en/store/product/view/37/7308)
You can find it also on Spotify, and on different digital platforms.

What is it you’d like a listener to remember the most when hearing your music for the first time?
First thing, when approaching our music you have to be mentally open, because as we have already said we don’t limit ourselves to one single genre. We hope that people remember to have listened to something new, fresh and original, something that may remind them of different bands here and there, but it is originally crafted. And something that challenged them to open their mind (and ears) to music that they have not listened before."

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